[ ri-kog-nuh-zuhns, -kon-uh- ]
See synonyms for recognizance on
  1. Law.

    • a bond or obligation of record entered into before a court of record or a magistrate, binding a person to do a particular act.

    • the sum pledged as surety on such a bond.

  2. Archaic. recognition.

  1. Archaic. a token; badge.

Origin of recognizance

1350–1400; Middle English reconissaunce, recognisance<Old French reconuissance.See recognize, -ance

Words Nearby recognizance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use recognizance in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for recognizance



/ (rɪˈkɒɡnɪzəns) /

  1. law

    • a bond entered into before a court or magistrate by which a person binds himself to do a specified act, as to appear in court on a stated day, keep the peace, or pay a debt

    • a monetary sum pledged to the performance of such an act

  2. an obsolete word for recognition

Origin of recognizance

C14: from Old French reconoissance, from reconoistre to recognize

Derived forms of recognizance

  • recognizant or recognisant, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012